Meet The Team

The Gapforce Family

We are proud to be a closely-knit team, based both in our UK office and across the globe. Our staff are the foundation and sacred portals of knowledge that allow us to build and offer truly unique gap year programs. The faces you see below are the magnificent team that ensure our participants have unique and empowering adventures on their gap year and volunteering programs

World-class Expedition Leaders

Outside our main headquarters in London, England, most of our staff are based across the world in a variety of our gap year destinations. Being based in the very countries that our programs run from means our staff have an unparalleled local knowledge and are consequently able to continually develop the programs through regular communication with our UK support team. These exceptional international staff members are paramount to the success of our programs and the ability for our programs to make a real impact through sustainable volunteering and marine conservation. 

Our Expedition Leaders have been rigorously trained directly from the ground-up (literally!) in safety, group education, wilderness survival and so much more. This truly makes them the best outdoor experts for our gap year adventures and group programs. Our Expedition Leaders are of the highest standards, and quite simply incredible at what they do; with them, our participants continue to have the ultimate experiences on our trips.


 Our Support Staff   Our Program Leaders


Your London Advisor Team

James Catterall

James

Manager
james@gapforce.org

James took his own gap year and travelled extensively throughout Australia, before graduating from the University of Bristol and starting an extensive career in adventure travel. James joined Gapforce in 2009 and has enjoyed watching the company grow. James is a keen runner and his dream destination is South Africa!

Harry Hudson

Harry

Operations Coordinator
matt@gapforce.org

Harry graduated from the University of Birmingham with a degree in Sports and Exercise Science after a year travelling through New Zealand, Bali and the Amazon jungle. Harry enjoys scuba diving, rock climbing, hiking and generally any outdoor activity!

Antonia Hiesegen

Antonia

Advisor - Europe
antonia@gapforce.org

Born and raised in the industrial heart of Germany, the Ruhr Area near Dortmund, Antonia brings a wealth of knowledge to Gapforce as our Europe advisor. With a degree in Tourism Management and a Master’s in International Development, she has studied and worked abroad in Denmark, Peru, Spain and the US, before joining Gapforce in London. She has travelled extensively throughout the globe and can be found organising her travel photography in her spare time.

Nick Beardsley

Nick

Advisor - USA
nick@gapforce.org

Nick joined Gapforce in October of 2013 as a gap year advisor. Born and raised in Baltimore, Nick now lives in Chicago and heads up our team in the USA. Nick loves to talk travel, and recalls his favourite trip throughout South Africa, including the mother city, Cape Town.

Leif Koppernaes

Leif

Advisor - Canada
leif@gapforce.org

A passionate traveller, Leif has spent time studying in Europe, island-hopping in Croatia, as well as sailing to Cuba from Key West! His positive energy make him the perfect advisor for those interested in learning more about our gap year and summer programs. Leif lives in Chicago and in his spare time he will be outdoors on a beach or boat!

Jon Essex

Jon

Advisor - South East Asia
jon@gapforce.org

Hailing from the sunny East midlands, Jon has worked in travel for 28 years and has been backpacking since his teens to places far and wide. After discovering a passion for Asia, he quickly relocated there and now enjoys working directly with the international schools in this region to organise group trips abroad. Other interests include cricket, Asian food and the great outdoors - especially the ocean and beaches.

Katie Maidment

Katie

Volunteer Manager
katie@gapforce.org

Mike

Mike

Digital
mike@gapforce.org

Mike first developed a passion for travel while heading out to volunteer in South Africa at age 16. This taught him at an early age the importance of experiential education for young people around the world. He has since lived, worked and volunteered abroad, including South America, Africa, Asia and Europe. When Mike is not traveling, he can be found training at the gym or doing Yoga.

Dr Raj

Dr Raj

Medical and Safety
info@gapforce.org

Raj is one of a select few individuals that has successfully climbed, unguided, the highest mountain on every continent in the world. It is because of this that Raj is our consultant doctor, allowing us to provide the highest level of safety and medical support. Raj has operated in some of the most inhospitable places imaginable from mountain, desert, polar and jungle environments, right through to warzones.

Marcus Watts

Marcus

Founder
marcus@gapforce.org

Marcus Watts has been at the forefront of Gap year safety. He has been an active member of the Youth Explorers Trust, a member of the Year Out Group, the UK regulator and elected Chair of the Year Out Group. He has also been elected a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, for services to exploration.

Marcus Watts

You

Your Special Role
info@gapforce.org

Do you want to join our team? Click here to view our current career openings.

Browse Careers

Expedition Staff

Colin Gap Year Program Leader

Colin

Expedition Leader Trainer - UK & Overseas

Jade Gap Year Program Leader

Jade

Expedition Leader Trainer - UK & Overseas

Marcus Watts

Elliot Swinney

Expedition Leader

Matt Smith Gap Year Program Leader

Matt Smith

Expedition Leader

Sev Gap Year Program Leader

Sev

Expedition Leader - Ski

Barney Gap Year Program Leader

Barney

Expedition Leader

Stefan Gap Year Program Leader

Stefan

Expedition Leader

Joe Gap Year Program Leader

Joe

Expedition Leader

Cody Gap Year Program Leader

Cody

Dive Instructor

James Gap Year Program Leader

James

Partner - West Africa

Leo Gap Year Program Leader

Leo

Partner - Thailand

Raj Gap Year Program Leader

Raj

Partner – Nepal

Marcus Watts

Put Your Name Here

Become an Expedition Leader
info@gapforce.org

Do you want to become an Expedition Leader, travel the world and lead amazing adventure travel groups? Click here to find out what it involves and whether you're up for the challenge!

Find Out More